Last Update: January 2016
The shrimp fishery on the northwest Pacific coast of Mexico, including the Gulf of California (GoC), ranks as the most important in México. It has the highest economic value of landings and contains the largest number of vessels and the greatest number of direct jobs. It ranks in third place in terms of volume with annual landings of approximately 40,000 tons—most of which is imported to the US market during a season that begins in September and runs through March. Much of the Gulf of California shrimp fishery has made improvements in sustainability over the last 10 years, including stocks and bycatch monitoring, fishing effort reduction, area closures, fishery regulations, enforcement, and compliance; but there are still areas for improvement. The Gulf of California Shrimp Supply Chain Roundtable focuses on monitoring the sustainability status of shrimp fisheries, and pushes for improvements where they are needed. SFP’s approach with this project is to convene suppliers and buyers to engage them in activities to monitor shrimp fisheries and encourage fishery improvement projects. Participants in the Gulf of California Shrimp Supply Chain Roundtable are principally suppliers and processors. The roundtable sometimes invites producers to update participants on progress in improvements. SFP provides the following services to participants:
- An annual overview of the sustainability of shrimp fisheries throughout the Gulf of California
- Briefings on emerging sustainability issues in the region that may impact on supply, certification, corporate reputation, and other areas important to the seafood industry
- An opportunity to discuss matters of common interest such as creating demand for new FIPs where needed, exploring models for financing FIPs, and developing procurement specifications promoting sustainability.
Supply Chain Roundtable Participants:
Delta Blue Aquaculture
Tai Foong USA
Fortune Fish Co
Slade Gorton & Company
Tampa Bay Fisheries
Del Pacifico Seafoods
Ocean Garden Products
Fisheries and/or FIPs Covered: The roundtable focuses on Gulf of California, Mexico, fisheries for yellowleg, whiteleg, and blue shrimp. The following FIPs are supported and monitored:
For more details on the sustainability status of the fisheries, progress of the FIPs, and improvement recommendations, please follow this link.
Improvement Needs and Recommendations:
Improvement Needs:For the artisanal Sonora, Sinaloa, and Magdalena shrimp fisheries:
- Continue monitoring bycatch composition and maintain regularly updated reports that are publicly available.
- Collaborate with the fisheries authority on the fishery research program.
- Dialogue with producers and authorities on how to address fishing gear and access issues.
- Evaluate the technical and economic feasibility of implementing programs for traceability from the fishing ground to the plate.
For the industrial shrimp fishery:
- Assure the whole fleet is prepared to fulfill the new regulations on gear (click here for full text of new regulations):
- Use of BRDs during all of the fishing operations
- Maximum headrope length of 120 ft.
- Minimum mesh size of 1 1/2 inches in the cod end and 2 inches for ceiling, wings, and body.
- Request the implementation of a bycatch monitoring program to follow up on the advances from 2004–2010 and generate the information required to evaluate the bycatch-related performance indicators in MSC Principle II.
- Request the availability and publication of bycatch information.
- Encourage the adoption of traceability programs to document fishing operations and increase accountability and transparency to the control documents.
- Develop and implement a plan for the early adoption of the bycatch reduction technology and the limits to fishing gear sizes.
Find the full list of fisheries in need of improvements overseen by the Supply Chain Roundtable here.
- Request that fisheries authorities provide timely publication of stock assessments for opening/closing the fishing season.
- Request that fisheries authorities publish/formalize the fishery management plan.
- Start a dialogue with fisheries authorities on how to address the management issues in the small-scale sector (access control, fishing gear configuration, and reporting of landings).
- Oversee all the fishery improvement projects in scope of the Supply Chain roundtable.
- Unify efforts on fishery improvement projects activities that can be supported by suppliers throughout the region.
- Promote the design and implementation of fishery improvement projects where still needed.
- Roundtable initiated during Seafood Expo North America in March 2014. It was later formalized in November 2014 with companies that represent 90 percent of the Mexican Pacific coast wild shrimp exports to the US signing on as participants.
- The Sinaloa Artisanal Shrimp FIP leadership was transferred from SFP to Del Pacifico Seafood in May. For details please click here.
- The Sinaloa Artisanal Shrimp FIP was certified by Fair Trade USA under the Capture Fisheries standard.
The Gulf of California Shrimp Supply Chain Roundtable meetings are usually held concurrently with the Seafood Expo North America and participation is by invitation only. Companies interested in becoming participants should email SFP.
2014 SR meeting (Seafood Expo North America, Boston, Massachusetts, March 2014)
2015 SR meeting (Seafood Expo North America, Boston Massachusetts, March 2015) – Presentations included the advances achieved in each FIP during the previous year as well as updates on the environmental performance of each fishery and the improvement recommendations to promote during 2015 – List of Participants, Presentation
Project Contact: If you would like more information about the Supply Chain Roundtable or wish to support it, please contact SFP.